Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - At least three killed at factory clash

At least three killed at factory clash

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A member of the armed forces fires an automatic weapon into the air at the Canadia industrial complex in Phnom Penh on Friday morning. Heng Chivoan

At least three killed at factory clash

At least three protesters have been shot dead by police this morning at the Canadia industrial complex in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district, Phnom Penh deputy police chief Chuon Narin has confirmed.

The use of force came as riot police moved in to break up a demonstration by thousands of workers who blocked Veng Sreng street, the site of an ongoing demonstration that began yesterday evening and saw hundreds of riot police deployed to the area after midnight.

Only moments ago, Post reporters on the scene confirmed that the widespread use of automatic weapons fire was still ongoing.

Union leaders and rights activists reported even higher death totals.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said he had received information that four strikers had been shot dead and many more injured.

“The situation now is still tense,” he told the Post. “Why are they cracking down on us as we just demanding our salary?”

Chan Soveth, a monitor for local rights group Adhoc who was at the scene, also said he had heard four strikers were killed, with another 10 badly injured and multiple arrests.

“They were beating people on their heads,” Soveth added, saying authorities tried to chase strikers who attempted to run to their rented rooms near the site.

National Military Police spokesman Brigadier General Kheng Tito, who would confirm only one death when reached earlier, defended the use of force.

“We’re just doing our jobs. We fear the security situation, so we have to crack down on them,” he said. “If we allow them to continue the strike, later on, it will become messy and more complicated to control.”

Tito added that nine police officials were injured by stones, some fired from slingshots, during clashes with workers in the area.

Dave Welsh, from labour rights group Solidarity Center, condemned the police use of live ammunition as outrageous.

“In that economic zone, things have been getting out of hand,” he said. “Whatever the case, this is complete disproportionate use of force, illegal and completely outrageous on behalf of the government."

The demonstration comes amid an ongoing national strike that began last week when the Ministry of Labour's Labour Advisory Committee set a new monthly minimum wage of $95 - $65 less than striking unions demanded. The ministry raised the minimum wage another $5 earlier this week. Additional reporting by Shane Worrell and Sean Teehan

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all